What We’re Reading in February

Hi Folks. 

Joanna here with a round up of the great reads that got us through a blustery cold February.

Wenches discovery witchesMy own wonderful read was Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches, Book One in the All Soul's Trilogy.  The elements of this story — withces and vampires living among us, ancient manuscripts, conspiracies, ancient secrets — are familiar.  They seem almost hackneyed.  What lifts this book above the ordinary is Harkness' beautiful writing. 

And … well … the first book of the trilogy is set mostly in Oxford.  I'm a sucker for Oxford. 

I've already acquired Book Two in the trilogy, Shadow of Night, and look forward to settling down in a comfy chair with it.  Maybe when we get this next wave of snow that's coming in. 

Cara/Andrea saying:Wenches heir apparent

I’m very interested in the Edwardian era, so when I read the great reviews for The Heir Apparent, Jane Ridley’s new biography of “Bertie,” King Edward VII, I immediately grabbed it.

It’s an absolutely fascinating read. Ridley had access to extensive Royal archives and private family correspondence—and the picture painted of Queen Victoria, Albert and their extensive brood and relatives is  . . .well, I’m not quite sure of the adjective to use. Chilling might be one of them. Talk about a dysfunctional family! It’s a wonder poor Bertie wasn’t committed to Bedlam. He actually comes off as a very sympathetic character, far brighter and more interested in the welfare of his country than he is given credit for.

On the other hand, the Queen and her consort come across as cold, manipulative people who had absolutely no emotional interest in their children. It also gives a wonderful look at the social whirl of the Victorian age, with descriptions of the house parties, the foreign travel, the royalty of Europe. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the time period.

 

On a lighter note, I’m reading an ARC of our own Anne Gracie’s upcoming book, The Winter Bride.

Damaris mWench winter brideust overcome a dark secret from her past to find any way of finding happiness with the rakish Freddy Monkton-Coombes . . . where I live we’ve been hit with freezing cold and heavy snowstorms, so I’ll simply say that reading their story brought a spark of warmth and light to my winter.

 

Pat Rice:

I’m bogged down in edits and revisions and haven’t had time to do much reading. But I’ve been fortunate to acquire ARCs from the wenches and elsewhere, so in my few spare minutes, I’ve eagerly read Anne Gracie’s The Winter Bride, started on Cara Elliott’s Passionately Yours, and finished Leah Cutter’s Popcorn Thief. Wenches passionately yours

The Winter Bride a lovable laughing rake hiding a broken heart and a very proper minister’s daughter as the tortured heroine.

(Cara Elliott chimes in to say, "No surprise that I’m loving it! Anne crafts such interestingly original and complex characters, and with this second story about the Chance “sisters”, she’s woven yet another lovely tale that shows family is a bond made not just of blood, but of love. And love is always at the heart of Anne’s stories.)Wench popcorn thief

Back to Pat — Passionately Yours is another of Cara’s delightful Regencies based on the eccentric Sloane sisters, or the Hellions of High Street.

And Leah’s Popcorn Thief is a wonderful rural Southern magic story with a hero who loves popcorn better than anything.
There’s a sweet romance threading through the magical suspense as a complete change of pace.

Susan says:

Wenches dead in vaulted archesLet's see what's piled up here beside my reading chair . . . fiction, non-fiction, Pottery Barn catalogs, pens and notebooks  . . . I'm reading/browsing/researching medieval history again, so I'm currently immersed in a stack of excellent academic tomes on the Norman Conquest and medieval France and taking notes like mad.
 
Fiction-wise, I've been reading some mysteries. I just finished The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, Alan Bradley's sixth mystery featuring the intrepid, impish, wonderful Flavia de Luce. This sixth book not only solves a murder, but wraps up some earlier family mysteries in the series while opening the door to new sleuthing possibilities for Flavia. While this is the planned series end,
 
I hope the author decides to continue this great series. Flavia is part Pippi Longstocking, part Sherlock–and I love Jayne Entwistle's perfect narrations of the books on audio CD too (Jayne was Wenches christmas is murdera guest here at Wenches last year). Good news — Bradley's superb mysteries are now in development for a TV series. Yaroo, as Flavia would say!  
 
I also read the first in the Rex Graves mysteries, Christmas Is Murder, by C. S. Challinor — a sort of locked-room set up with a group of people stranded by a snowstorm in an English bed and breakfast. The book was excellent, quick-witted and consistently interesting, featuring a Scottish lawyer who finds himself dealing with one mysterious murder after another in a group that's seemingly innocent. I've got the next two books in the series waiting in the reading stack. And since I was stuck in the house looking at two feet of snow when I finished this last week, it was just the thing! 
 

Anne here.

Wenches lady be goodMostly I've been reading books for the RWA RITA competition, which of course I can't discuss, and in between I've done a bit of rereading of old favorites, like Jayne Ann Krentz's Arcane Society stories.

I've also been training myself to read on my new e-reader. It's the first one I've owned and I'm cautiously deciding to like it. I've downloaded a few freebie reads by authors I know or have heard of, but also have bought a few out of print titles of old favorites, or books I never read but meant to.
One of those was Susan Elizabeth Phillips's Lady be Good, which I enjoyed Wenches the tivy treeenormously.
 
In another writers' discussion, Mary Jo was talking about the clever plotting/writing in Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree. Mary Stewart is an old favorite of mine, but it had been years since I'd read The Ivy Tree, and long before I became a writer, so I bought it on my e-reader and was soon deep in Mary Stewart world. Wonderful story and very clever plotting, as Mary Jo had said.  I suspect it's going to start me on another Mary Stewart rereading glom.
 
Wenches ice red
Mary Jo says:
 
I'm a fan of science fiction romance, where believable science, worldbuilding, adventure, and romance are all balanced together.  Catherine Asaro and Linnea Sinclair are both terrific at this, and now I've found a new author: Jael Wye.  I just read her first book, Ice Red, and not only does it have the science fiction, the adventure, and the romance, but it cleverly incorporates the Snow White myth–complete with toxic apple. <G>  The blurb tag line reads:
 
Mirror, mirror, full of stars,
Who will claim the throne of Mars?
 
The story is set in a future Mars, with good guys and bad guys and a great lead couple.  According to her website, this is the first in her Once Upon a Red Planet series, with more to come in the not too distant future.  If science fiction romance is your cuppa, you might enjoy Jael Wye as much as I did.
 
Nicola:

 
There's been something of a contrast in my reading this month. I've just started researching my new book so I've been delving deeply into the 17th century. I'm reading the letters of Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, covering the period 1632 – 1642.
 
Wenches before i met youElizabeth, the daughter of King James I, was an energetic letter writer and her letters shed so much light on the politics and culture of the time, but more importantly to me, they give little details of her life, her family, her clothes, her entertainments; everything that illuminates what life was really like and gives it substance and colour. In addition, there's nothing like reading people's letters to "hear" their voice and Elizabeth's personality comes over loud and clear. At one point she writes: "This pen is so awful it's driving me mad!" I guess we can all relate to that!
 
In contrast I also read Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell. It's a dual time period story set in London in the early 1990s and also in the 1920s. The more modern era was very familiar to me and it felt quite nostalgic to read about the days before the internet and mobile phones. The 1920s part was utterly fascinating. it's not an era I was very familiar with and she portrayed the daring social innovations and hectic partying of bohemian London beautifully. All this wrapped up in a story of a family mystery that was completely engaging. A lovely book.
 
And we're going to end up with Jo Beverley and Dorothy Dunnett.
(I love Dunnett.)
 
Jo says:
 
Like some other Wenches I've been reading RITA books since I got back from
Spain as well as bits and pieces of research. However, in Spain I enjoyed the
audio book of one of my favourite novels, Dorothy Dunnett's The Game of Kings.

I've had this for a while, but couldn't get into it because of the accent the
reader gave Lymond, the central character; I never hear him with a Scottish
accent when I'm reading. But I persisted in small bites and eventually the
story gripped me as it always does and I enjoyed it tremendously.

I have to give the reader credit for coming up with mostly distinctive voices
for a huge range of characters from very young to old, but the choices for
Lymond and his brother were odd. Richard is the solid, conventional one, well
rooted in Scotland, and yet he got the more English, and therefore in context
more cosmopolitan voice, whilst Lymond, the sophisticated polyglot wanderer got
the Scots. Ah well.

 

So, what have you been reading this month that amused you, excited you, surprised you, delighted you …?

90 thoughts on “What We’re Reading in February”

  1. I just finished a review copy of To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain.
    Such a refreshing hero – totally socially awkward and (I’m doing my own diagnosis here!) appears to have Asperger’s. Very interesting book.

    Reply
  2. I just finished a review copy of To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain.
    Such a refreshing hero – totally socially awkward and (I’m doing my own diagnosis here!) appears to have Asperger’s. Very interesting book.

    Reply
  3. I just finished a review copy of To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain.
    Such a refreshing hero – totally socially awkward and (I’m doing my own diagnosis here!) appears to have Asperger’s. Very interesting book.

    Reply
  4. I just finished a review copy of To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain.
    Such a refreshing hero – totally socially awkward and (I’m doing my own diagnosis here!) appears to have Asperger’s. Very interesting book.

    Reply
  5. I just finished a review copy of To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain.
    Such a refreshing hero – totally socially awkward and (I’m doing my own diagnosis here!) appears to have Asperger’s. Very interesting book.

    Reply
  6. I loved Ridley’s bio despite my skepticism of her claims to tell the real story of Edward VII. It gives a very vigorous and full-bodied portrait of both him and his era, and compliments my other favorite EVII biographies (by Christopher Hibbert, Virginia Cowles, and Philippe Julian).
    The most recent read that knocked my socks off was Erika Robuck’s Fallen Beauty. Laura, the fictional character, was great, but Robuck’s portrayal of Edna St. Vincent Millay was astounding.

    Reply
  7. I loved Ridley’s bio despite my skepticism of her claims to tell the real story of Edward VII. It gives a very vigorous and full-bodied portrait of both him and his era, and compliments my other favorite EVII biographies (by Christopher Hibbert, Virginia Cowles, and Philippe Julian).
    The most recent read that knocked my socks off was Erika Robuck’s Fallen Beauty. Laura, the fictional character, was great, but Robuck’s portrayal of Edna St. Vincent Millay was astounding.

    Reply
  8. I loved Ridley’s bio despite my skepticism of her claims to tell the real story of Edward VII. It gives a very vigorous and full-bodied portrait of both him and his era, and compliments my other favorite EVII biographies (by Christopher Hibbert, Virginia Cowles, and Philippe Julian).
    The most recent read that knocked my socks off was Erika Robuck’s Fallen Beauty. Laura, the fictional character, was great, but Robuck’s portrayal of Edna St. Vincent Millay was astounding.

    Reply
  9. I loved Ridley’s bio despite my skepticism of her claims to tell the real story of Edward VII. It gives a very vigorous and full-bodied portrait of both him and his era, and compliments my other favorite EVII biographies (by Christopher Hibbert, Virginia Cowles, and Philippe Julian).
    The most recent read that knocked my socks off was Erika Robuck’s Fallen Beauty. Laura, the fictional character, was great, but Robuck’s portrayal of Edna St. Vincent Millay was astounding.

    Reply
  10. I loved Ridley’s bio despite my skepticism of her claims to tell the real story of Edward VII. It gives a very vigorous and full-bodied portrait of both him and his era, and compliments my other favorite EVII biographies (by Christopher Hibbert, Virginia Cowles, and Philippe Julian).
    The most recent read that knocked my socks off was Erika Robuck’s Fallen Beauty. Laura, the fictional character, was great, but Robuck’s portrayal of Edna St. Vincent Millay was astounding.

    Reply
  11. Those are some wonderful reads. I’ve been writing like made trying to finish the 6th book in my current series, and critiquing my CP’s WIPs. I did get a chance to read Cara’s latest book, and loved it. Cara, I have heard that several times about Victoria and Albert.
    Jo, I’d never really thought about it before, but you’re right. When I read Dunnett, I never hear Lymond speak with a Scottish accent. What I’m waiting for is your next book!
    Tweeted.

    Reply
  12. Those are some wonderful reads. I’ve been writing like made trying to finish the 6th book in my current series, and critiquing my CP’s WIPs. I did get a chance to read Cara’s latest book, and loved it. Cara, I have heard that several times about Victoria and Albert.
    Jo, I’d never really thought about it before, but you’re right. When I read Dunnett, I never hear Lymond speak with a Scottish accent. What I’m waiting for is your next book!
    Tweeted.

    Reply
  13. Those are some wonderful reads. I’ve been writing like made trying to finish the 6th book in my current series, and critiquing my CP’s WIPs. I did get a chance to read Cara’s latest book, and loved it. Cara, I have heard that several times about Victoria and Albert.
    Jo, I’d never really thought about it before, but you’re right. When I read Dunnett, I never hear Lymond speak with a Scottish accent. What I’m waiting for is your next book!
    Tweeted.

    Reply
  14. Those are some wonderful reads. I’ve been writing like made trying to finish the 6th book in my current series, and critiquing my CP’s WIPs. I did get a chance to read Cara’s latest book, and loved it. Cara, I have heard that several times about Victoria and Albert.
    Jo, I’d never really thought about it before, but you’re right. When I read Dunnett, I never hear Lymond speak with a Scottish accent. What I’m waiting for is your next book!
    Tweeted.

    Reply
  15. Those are some wonderful reads. I’ve been writing like made trying to finish the 6th book in my current series, and critiquing my CP’s WIPs. I did get a chance to read Cara’s latest book, and loved it. Cara, I have heard that several times about Victoria and Albert.
    Jo, I’d never really thought about it before, but you’re right. When I read Dunnett, I never hear Lymond speak with a Scottish accent. What I’m waiting for is your next book!
    Tweeted.

    Reply
  16. I’ve never read a bio of Millay. I love her work, but know very little about her life.
    The wiki says “known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs.” Hmmm. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
  17. I’ve never read a bio of Millay. I love her work, but know very little about her life.
    The wiki says “known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs.” Hmmm. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
  18. I’ve never read a bio of Millay. I love her work, but know very little about her life.
    The wiki says “known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs.” Hmmm. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
  19. I’ve never read a bio of Millay. I love her work, but know very little about her life.
    The wiki says “known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs.” Hmmm. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
  20. I’ve never read a bio of Millay. I love her work, but know very little about her life.
    The wiki says “known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs.” Hmmm. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
  21. I’ve discovered Michelle Diener, and I’m now gobbling up everything she has written. The first book of her series set in the Tudor era is “In a Treacherous Court” and it’s a page-turner. I love the way she uses real historical characters. Her two leads were married in real life, and connected to King Henry VIII, but the rest of the story is fiction. I also enjoyed “All Through the Night” by Connie Brockway, the heroine is a cat burglar leading a double life, and the hero is a spy. It’s emotional and rather dark.
    I also like sci-fi romance, so thanks for the tip on Jael Wye.

    Reply
  22. I’ve discovered Michelle Diener, and I’m now gobbling up everything she has written. The first book of her series set in the Tudor era is “In a Treacherous Court” and it’s a page-turner. I love the way she uses real historical characters. Her two leads were married in real life, and connected to King Henry VIII, but the rest of the story is fiction. I also enjoyed “All Through the Night” by Connie Brockway, the heroine is a cat burglar leading a double life, and the hero is a spy. It’s emotional and rather dark.
    I also like sci-fi romance, so thanks for the tip on Jael Wye.

    Reply
  23. I’ve discovered Michelle Diener, and I’m now gobbling up everything she has written. The first book of her series set in the Tudor era is “In a Treacherous Court” and it’s a page-turner. I love the way she uses real historical characters. Her two leads were married in real life, and connected to King Henry VIII, but the rest of the story is fiction. I also enjoyed “All Through the Night” by Connie Brockway, the heroine is a cat burglar leading a double life, and the hero is a spy. It’s emotional and rather dark.
    I also like sci-fi romance, so thanks for the tip on Jael Wye.

    Reply
  24. I’ve discovered Michelle Diener, and I’m now gobbling up everything she has written. The first book of her series set in the Tudor era is “In a Treacherous Court” and it’s a page-turner. I love the way she uses real historical characters. Her two leads were married in real life, and connected to King Henry VIII, but the rest of the story is fiction. I also enjoyed “All Through the Night” by Connie Brockway, the heroine is a cat burglar leading a double life, and the hero is a spy. It’s emotional and rather dark.
    I also like sci-fi romance, so thanks for the tip on Jael Wye.

    Reply
  25. I’ve discovered Michelle Diener, and I’m now gobbling up everything she has written. The first book of her series set in the Tudor era is “In a Treacherous Court” and it’s a page-turner. I love the way she uses real historical characters. Her two leads were married in real life, and connected to King Henry VIII, but the rest of the story is fiction. I also enjoyed “All Through the Night” by Connie Brockway, the heroine is a cat burglar leading a double life, and the hero is a spy. It’s emotional and rather dark.
    I also like sci-fi romance, so thanks for the tip on Jael Wye.

    Reply
  26. Evangeline, you’re probably right in that she clearly has taken a shine to Bertie, despite his many faults. But I did find it a really well-written book, with a fascinating glimpse at the details of the upper crust in Victoria’s day. And I confess, I felt very sympathetic to him too. Victoria does not come through as a very likeable woman.
    Your other suggestions sounds intriguing. Will check it out.

    Reply
  27. Evangeline, you’re probably right in that she clearly has taken a shine to Bertie, despite his many faults. But I did find it a really well-written book, with a fascinating glimpse at the details of the upper crust in Victoria’s day. And I confess, I felt very sympathetic to him too. Victoria does not come through as a very likeable woman.
    Your other suggestions sounds intriguing. Will check it out.

    Reply
  28. Evangeline, you’re probably right in that she clearly has taken a shine to Bertie, despite his many faults. But I did find it a really well-written book, with a fascinating glimpse at the details of the upper crust in Victoria’s day. And I confess, I felt very sympathetic to him too. Victoria does not come through as a very likeable woman.
    Your other suggestions sounds intriguing. Will check it out.

    Reply
  29. Evangeline, you’re probably right in that she clearly has taken a shine to Bertie, despite his many faults. But I did find it a really well-written book, with a fascinating glimpse at the details of the upper crust in Victoria’s day. And I confess, I felt very sympathetic to him too. Victoria does not come through as a very likeable woman.
    Your other suggestions sounds intriguing. Will check it out.

    Reply
  30. Evangeline, you’re probably right in that she clearly has taken a shine to Bertie, despite his many faults. But I did find it a really well-written book, with a fascinating glimpse at the details of the upper crust in Victoria’s day. And I confess, I felt very sympathetic to him too. Victoria does not come through as a very likeable woman.
    Your other suggestions sounds intriguing. Will check it out.

    Reply
  31. I’m going to check the Connie Brockway book out. It happens I haven’t read a lot of hers, but what I’ve read I liked very much.
    I was watching the BBC series, ‘The Tudors,’ recently and it’s got me all het up to read some fiction set in that era.

    Reply
  32. I’m going to check the Connie Brockway book out. It happens I haven’t read a lot of hers, but what I’ve read I liked very much.
    I was watching the BBC series, ‘The Tudors,’ recently and it’s got me all het up to read some fiction set in that era.

    Reply
  33. I’m going to check the Connie Brockway book out. It happens I haven’t read a lot of hers, but what I’ve read I liked very much.
    I was watching the BBC series, ‘The Tudors,’ recently and it’s got me all het up to read some fiction set in that era.

    Reply
  34. I’m going to check the Connie Brockway book out. It happens I haven’t read a lot of hers, but what I’ve read I liked very much.
    I was watching the BBC series, ‘The Tudors,’ recently and it’s got me all het up to read some fiction set in that era.

    Reply
  35. I’m going to check the Connie Brockway book out. It happens I haven’t read a lot of hers, but what I’ve read I liked very much.
    I was watching the BBC series, ‘The Tudors,’ recently and it’s got me all het up to read some fiction set in that era.

    Reply
  36. My favorite column of the month (and the one that has the greatest effect on my wallet). But through the various editions, I have found some wonderful “new” authors.
    It has been cold, blustery, and February, so I have read a lot.
    My favorite adventure was discovering Bec McMaster’s Steampunk “trilogy.” In reality it’s really four books that are closely linked. Volume 1.5 is really necessary to appreciate the second book. It’s listed on Amazon as Steampunk, but the series is also a vampire story intertwined. The last book My Lady Quicksilver was my favorite, marrying a romance with a political machinations plot. I want to give away part of it but I’m being good.
    I also caught up reading Jennifer Ashley’s Scottish series with The Seduction of Elliot McBride and The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie. The first title is misleading. Elliot is madly in love and its a story about healing having to happen before love can be consummated.
    Cathy Maxwell’s new series debuted. The book has an unusually complex and almost literary matching and mismatching of lovers. If you hate cliffhangers, then wait to buy the whole series. This is one I flung across the room because the sequel wasn’t immediately available. Damn hooks.
    Grace Burrowes too delighted me with her stories of love and deep abiding affection.
    Now off to click-click on some of the suggestions. I remain hopeful that I will read less and enjoy the weather more in March…please!

    Reply
  37. My favorite column of the month (and the one that has the greatest effect on my wallet). But through the various editions, I have found some wonderful “new” authors.
    It has been cold, blustery, and February, so I have read a lot.
    My favorite adventure was discovering Bec McMaster’s Steampunk “trilogy.” In reality it’s really four books that are closely linked. Volume 1.5 is really necessary to appreciate the second book. It’s listed on Amazon as Steampunk, but the series is also a vampire story intertwined. The last book My Lady Quicksilver was my favorite, marrying a romance with a political machinations plot. I want to give away part of it but I’m being good.
    I also caught up reading Jennifer Ashley’s Scottish series with The Seduction of Elliot McBride and The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie. The first title is misleading. Elliot is madly in love and its a story about healing having to happen before love can be consummated.
    Cathy Maxwell’s new series debuted. The book has an unusually complex and almost literary matching and mismatching of lovers. If you hate cliffhangers, then wait to buy the whole series. This is one I flung across the room because the sequel wasn’t immediately available. Damn hooks.
    Grace Burrowes too delighted me with her stories of love and deep abiding affection.
    Now off to click-click on some of the suggestions. I remain hopeful that I will read less and enjoy the weather more in March…please!

    Reply
  38. My favorite column of the month (and the one that has the greatest effect on my wallet). But through the various editions, I have found some wonderful “new” authors.
    It has been cold, blustery, and February, so I have read a lot.
    My favorite adventure was discovering Bec McMaster’s Steampunk “trilogy.” In reality it’s really four books that are closely linked. Volume 1.5 is really necessary to appreciate the second book. It’s listed on Amazon as Steampunk, but the series is also a vampire story intertwined. The last book My Lady Quicksilver was my favorite, marrying a romance with a political machinations plot. I want to give away part of it but I’m being good.
    I also caught up reading Jennifer Ashley’s Scottish series with The Seduction of Elliot McBride and The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie. The first title is misleading. Elliot is madly in love and its a story about healing having to happen before love can be consummated.
    Cathy Maxwell’s new series debuted. The book has an unusually complex and almost literary matching and mismatching of lovers. If you hate cliffhangers, then wait to buy the whole series. This is one I flung across the room because the sequel wasn’t immediately available. Damn hooks.
    Grace Burrowes too delighted me with her stories of love and deep abiding affection.
    Now off to click-click on some of the suggestions. I remain hopeful that I will read less and enjoy the weather more in March…please!

    Reply
  39. My favorite column of the month (and the one that has the greatest effect on my wallet). But through the various editions, I have found some wonderful “new” authors.
    It has been cold, blustery, and February, so I have read a lot.
    My favorite adventure was discovering Bec McMaster’s Steampunk “trilogy.” In reality it’s really four books that are closely linked. Volume 1.5 is really necessary to appreciate the second book. It’s listed on Amazon as Steampunk, but the series is also a vampire story intertwined. The last book My Lady Quicksilver was my favorite, marrying a romance with a political machinations plot. I want to give away part of it but I’m being good.
    I also caught up reading Jennifer Ashley’s Scottish series with The Seduction of Elliot McBride and The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie. The first title is misleading. Elliot is madly in love and its a story about healing having to happen before love can be consummated.
    Cathy Maxwell’s new series debuted. The book has an unusually complex and almost literary matching and mismatching of lovers. If you hate cliffhangers, then wait to buy the whole series. This is one I flung across the room because the sequel wasn’t immediately available. Damn hooks.
    Grace Burrowes too delighted me with her stories of love and deep abiding affection.
    Now off to click-click on some of the suggestions. I remain hopeful that I will read less and enjoy the weather more in March…please!

    Reply
  40. My favorite column of the month (and the one that has the greatest effect on my wallet). But through the various editions, I have found some wonderful “new” authors.
    It has been cold, blustery, and February, so I have read a lot.
    My favorite adventure was discovering Bec McMaster’s Steampunk “trilogy.” In reality it’s really four books that are closely linked. Volume 1.5 is really necessary to appreciate the second book. It’s listed on Amazon as Steampunk, but the series is also a vampire story intertwined. The last book My Lady Quicksilver was my favorite, marrying a romance with a political machinations plot. I want to give away part of it but I’m being good.
    I also caught up reading Jennifer Ashley’s Scottish series with The Seduction of Elliot McBride and The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie. The first title is misleading. Elliot is madly in love and its a story about healing having to happen before love can be consummated.
    Cathy Maxwell’s new series debuted. The book has an unusually complex and almost literary matching and mismatching of lovers. If you hate cliffhangers, then wait to buy the whole series. This is one I flung across the room because the sequel wasn’t immediately available. Damn hooks.
    Grace Burrowes too delighted me with her stories of love and deep abiding affection.
    Now off to click-click on some of the suggestions. I remain hopeful that I will read less and enjoy the weather more in March…please!

    Reply
  41. I always find cool new books, here at the end of the month. Grace Burrowes — I see she has a recent audio book out at Tantor.
    I’m looking forward to get my hands on Cathy Maxwell’s next one. (It’ll have to wait till I get to the TBR pile …)
    I’m a big fan of Steampunk, so I will certainly have to look into the McMaster’s book. I haven’t read anything by her.
    So many books … so little time.

    Reply
  42. I always find cool new books, here at the end of the month. Grace Burrowes — I see she has a recent audio book out at Tantor.
    I’m looking forward to get my hands on Cathy Maxwell’s next one. (It’ll have to wait till I get to the TBR pile …)
    I’m a big fan of Steampunk, so I will certainly have to look into the McMaster’s book. I haven’t read anything by her.
    So many books … so little time.

    Reply
  43. I always find cool new books, here at the end of the month. Grace Burrowes — I see she has a recent audio book out at Tantor.
    I’m looking forward to get my hands on Cathy Maxwell’s next one. (It’ll have to wait till I get to the TBR pile …)
    I’m a big fan of Steampunk, so I will certainly have to look into the McMaster’s book. I haven’t read anything by her.
    So many books … so little time.

    Reply
  44. I always find cool new books, here at the end of the month. Grace Burrowes — I see she has a recent audio book out at Tantor.
    I’m looking forward to get my hands on Cathy Maxwell’s next one. (It’ll have to wait till I get to the TBR pile …)
    I’m a big fan of Steampunk, so I will certainly have to look into the McMaster’s book. I haven’t read anything by her.
    So many books … so little time.

    Reply
  45. I always find cool new books, here at the end of the month. Grace Burrowes — I see she has a recent audio book out at Tantor.
    I’m looking forward to get my hands on Cathy Maxwell’s next one. (It’ll have to wait till I get to the TBR pile …)
    I’m a big fan of Steampunk, so I will certainly have to look into the McMaster’s book. I haven’t read anything by her.
    So many books … so little time.

    Reply
  46. @Karin, thanks for the Connie Brockway rec! Sounds right up my fictional alley! I haven’t read much of Brockway, not for lack of wanting, merely because my library AND my bookstore really don’t stock her books. Which is such a shame. I haven’t thought to look for her recently, but will probably purchase the book online.
    Eloisa James has a new book coming out which I’m really looking forward to. I’m writing a piece this winter which is extending into spring and really don’t have much time for reading, but fantasy author Patricia McKillip’s ‘Winter Rose’ is just breathtaking–mysterious, romantic, strange, and beautiful. I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone. As a writer, it inspires me and inspires envy in me all at once! Which, I think, the best books do 😉

    Reply
  47. @Karin, thanks for the Connie Brockway rec! Sounds right up my fictional alley! I haven’t read much of Brockway, not for lack of wanting, merely because my library AND my bookstore really don’t stock her books. Which is such a shame. I haven’t thought to look for her recently, but will probably purchase the book online.
    Eloisa James has a new book coming out which I’m really looking forward to. I’m writing a piece this winter which is extending into spring and really don’t have much time for reading, but fantasy author Patricia McKillip’s ‘Winter Rose’ is just breathtaking–mysterious, romantic, strange, and beautiful. I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone. As a writer, it inspires me and inspires envy in me all at once! Which, I think, the best books do 😉

    Reply
  48. @Karin, thanks for the Connie Brockway rec! Sounds right up my fictional alley! I haven’t read much of Brockway, not for lack of wanting, merely because my library AND my bookstore really don’t stock her books. Which is such a shame. I haven’t thought to look for her recently, but will probably purchase the book online.
    Eloisa James has a new book coming out which I’m really looking forward to. I’m writing a piece this winter which is extending into spring and really don’t have much time for reading, but fantasy author Patricia McKillip’s ‘Winter Rose’ is just breathtaking–mysterious, romantic, strange, and beautiful. I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone. As a writer, it inspires me and inspires envy in me all at once! Which, I think, the best books do 😉

    Reply
  49. @Karin, thanks for the Connie Brockway rec! Sounds right up my fictional alley! I haven’t read much of Brockway, not for lack of wanting, merely because my library AND my bookstore really don’t stock her books. Which is such a shame. I haven’t thought to look for her recently, but will probably purchase the book online.
    Eloisa James has a new book coming out which I’m really looking forward to. I’m writing a piece this winter which is extending into spring and really don’t have much time for reading, but fantasy author Patricia McKillip’s ‘Winter Rose’ is just breathtaking–mysterious, romantic, strange, and beautiful. I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone. As a writer, it inspires me and inspires envy in me all at once! Which, I think, the best books do 😉

    Reply
  50. @Karin, thanks for the Connie Brockway rec! Sounds right up my fictional alley! I haven’t read much of Brockway, not for lack of wanting, merely because my library AND my bookstore really don’t stock her books. Which is such a shame. I haven’t thought to look for her recently, but will probably purchase the book online.
    Eloisa James has a new book coming out which I’m really looking forward to. I’m writing a piece this winter which is extending into spring and really don’t have much time for reading, but fantasy author Patricia McKillip’s ‘Winter Rose’ is just breathtaking–mysterious, romantic, strange, and beautiful. I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone. As a writer, it inspires me and inspires envy in me all at once! Which, I think, the best books do 😉

    Reply
  51. Oh, me too! I’ve read quite a bit of McKillip’s catalogue, but Winter Rose is perhaps my favorite of her work. Another great one from her is ‘Ombria in Shadow’. Very different in tone and execution, but I think it nearly as compelling.
    And (not to embarrass you, but) Joanna you are definitely on my list of contemporary authors that inspire me as well! Your work in ‘The Black Hawk’ was just incredible. I bought it in both formats, hard copy *and* ebook and recommend it to all my friends. No pressure on Pax’s tale (though I can’t wait to read it!). I hope your work on it is going smoothly.
    For myself (I know this is off topic but I just have to vent it somewhere. Sorry wordwenches!), I am so close to finishing a project, and I’ve just reached last lap exhaustion and all I want to do is pick up a novel and fling myself into someone *else’s* work, so I don’t have to work so bloody hard and be the one who knows the answer to ‘what happens next’ (UGH! I have given myself a wrist-cyst, I’ve written so much in the past month!). So I, along with many other commenters, appreciate these posts containing options for new books to read. After this is done, I have another piece due afterward with a very close deadline (oiy), but am going to have to pick up a fun reading book in the meantime to keep myself going (it’s like break checks on a car, yeah?). So thanks for the recs! 🙂

    Reply
  52. Oh, me too! I’ve read quite a bit of McKillip’s catalogue, but Winter Rose is perhaps my favorite of her work. Another great one from her is ‘Ombria in Shadow’. Very different in tone and execution, but I think it nearly as compelling.
    And (not to embarrass you, but) Joanna you are definitely on my list of contemporary authors that inspire me as well! Your work in ‘The Black Hawk’ was just incredible. I bought it in both formats, hard copy *and* ebook and recommend it to all my friends. No pressure on Pax’s tale (though I can’t wait to read it!). I hope your work on it is going smoothly.
    For myself (I know this is off topic but I just have to vent it somewhere. Sorry wordwenches!), I am so close to finishing a project, and I’ve just reached last lap exhaustion and all I want to do is pick up a novel and fling myself into someone *else’s* work, so I don’t have to work so bloody hard and be the one who knows the answer to ‘what happens next’ (UGH! I have given myself a wrist-cyst, I’ve written so much in the past month!). So I, along with many other commenters, appreciate these posts containing options for new books to read. After this is done, I have another piece due afterward with a very close deadline (oiy), but am going to have to pick up a fun reading book in the meantime to keep myself going (it’s like break checks on a car, yeah?). So thanks for the recs! 🙂

    Reply
  53. Oh, me too! I’ve read quite a bit of McKillip’s catalogue, but Winter Rose is perhaps my favorite of her work. Another great one from her is ‘Ombria in Shadow’. Very different in tone and execution, but I think it nearly as compelling.
    And (not to embarrass you, but) Joanna you are definitely on my list of contemporary authors that inspire me as well! Your work in ‘The Black Hawk’ was just incredible. I bought it in both formats, hard copy *and* ebook and recommend it to all my friends. No pressure on Pax’s tale (though I can’t wait to read it!). I hope your work on it is going smoothly.
    For myself (I know this is off topic but I just have to vent it somewhere. Sorry wordwenches!), I am so close to finishing a project, and I’ve just reached last lap exhaustion and all I want to do is pick up a novel and fling myself into someone *else’s* work, so I don’t have to work so bloody hard and be the one who knows the answer to ‘what happens next’ (UGH! I have given myself a wrist-cyst, I’ve written so much in the past month!). So I, along with many other commenters, appreciate these posts containing options for new books to read. After this is done, I have another piece due afterward with a very close deadline (oiy), but am going to have to pick up a fun reading book in the meantime to keep myself going (it’s like break checks on a car, yeah?). So thanks for the recs! 🙂

    Reply
  54. Oh, me too! I’ve read quite a bit of McKillip’s catalogue, but Winter Rose is perhaps my favorite of her work. Another great one from her is ‘Ombria in Shadow’. Very different in tone and execution, but I think it nearly as compelling.
    And (not to embarrass you, but) Joanna you are definitely on my list of contemporary authors that inspire me as well! Your work in ‘The Black Hawk’ was just incredible. I bought it in both formats, hard copy *and* ebook and recommend it to all my friends. No pressure on Pax’s tale (though I can’t wait to read it!). I hope your work on it is going smoothly.
    For myself (I know this is off topic but I just have to vent it somewhere. Sorry wordwenches!), I am so close to finishing a project, and I’ve just reached last lap exhaustion and all I want to do is pick up a novel and fling myself into someone *else’s* work, so I don’t have to work so bloody hard and be the one who knows the answer to ‘what happens next’ (UGH! I have given myself a wrist-cyst, I’ve written so much in the past month!). So I, along with many other commenters, appreciate these posts containing options for new books to read. After this is done, I have another piece due afterward with a very close deadline (oiy), but am going to have to pick up a fun reading book in the meantime to keep myself going (it’s like break checks on a car, yeah?). So thanks for the recs! 🙂

    Reply
  55. Oh, me too! I’ve read quite a bit of McKillip’s catalogue, but Winter Rose is perhaps my favorite of her work. Another great one from her is ‘Ombria in Shadow’. Very different in tone and execution, but I think it nearly as compelling.
    And (not to embarrass you, but) Joanna you are definitely on my list of contemporary authors that inspire me as well! Your work in ‘The Black Hawk’ was just incredible. I bought it in both formats, hard copy *and* ebook and recommend it to all my friends. No pressure on Pax’s tale (though I can’t wait to read it!). I hope your work on it is going smoothly.
    For myself (I know this is off topic but I just have to vent it somewhere. Sorry wordwenches!), I am so close to finishing a project, and I’ve just reached last lap exhaustion and all I want to do is pick up a novel and fling myself into someone *else’s* work, so I don’t have to work so bloody hard and be the one who knows the answer to ‘what happens next’ (UGH! I have given myself a wrist-cyst, I’ve written so much in the past month!). So I, along with many other commenters, appreciate these posts containing options for new books to read. After this is done, I have another piece due afterward with a very close deadline (oiy), but am going to have to pick up a fun reading book in the meantime to keep myself going (it’s like break checks on a car, yeah?). So thanks for the recs! 🙂

    Reply
  56. Shannon, snap! I also love Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series and Jennifer Ashley’s historicals (and her shifters, too.) I’ve mentioned them both in this column before. I haven’t read Cathy Maxwell’s new series yet, not Grace Burrowes’s latest. So many books. Aren’t we lucky to have such a choice?

    Reply
  57. Shannon, snap! I also love Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series and Jennifer Ashley’s historicals (and her shifters, too.) I’ve mentioned them both in this column before. I haven’t read Cathy Maxwell’s new series yet, not Grace Burrowes’s latest. So many books. Aren’t we lucky to have such a choice?

    Reply
  58. Shannon, snap! I also love Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series and Jennifer Ashley’s historicals (and her shifters, too.) I’ve mentioned them both in this column before. I haven’t read Cathy Maxwell’s new series yet, not Grace Burrowes’s latest. So many books. Aren’t we lucky to have such a choice?

    Reply
  59. Shannon, snap! I also love Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series and Jennifer Ashley’s historicals (and her shifters, too.) I’ve mentioned them both in this column before. I haven’t read Cathy Maxwell’s new series yet, not Grace Burrowes’s latest. So many books. Aren’t we lucky to have such a choice?

    Reply
  60. Shannon, snap! I also love Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series and Jennifer Ashley’s historicals (and her shifters, too.) I’ve mentioned them both in this column before. I haven’t read Cathy Maxwell’s new series yet, not Grace Burrowes’s latest. So many books. Aren’t we lucky to have such a choice?

    Reply
  61. Oh *blush*.
    I am so glad you like Black Hawk. It’s going to be out in audiobook soon — I don’t remember the date but it’s in a month or two.
    I can say nice things about the audiobooks because the dramatic performance is a new and distinct artwork and I can admire it for that. They’ve give me the most perfect narrator for Black Hawk. She’d Kristen Potter and she is just great.
    I can hardly wait to see what she does with the story.
    I know exactly what you mean about needed great fiction at certain points in the writing cycle. One gets so very tired of the laborious course of writing and wants to leap into a story where someone else has done all the work.
    Very sorry to hear about the wrist. I get this carpal tunnel syndrome. Dreadful stuff when our bodies refuse to let us work.

    Reply
  62. Oh *blush*.
    I am so glad you like Black Hawk. It’s going to be out in audiobook soon — I don’t remember the date but it’s in a month or two.
    I can say nice things about the audiobooks because the dramatic performance is a new and distinct artwork and I can admire it for that. They’ve give me the most perfect narrator for Black Hawk. She’d Kristen Potter and she is just great.
    I can hardly wait to see what she does with the story.
    I know exactly what you mean about needed great fiction at certain points in the writing cycle. One gets so very tired of the laborious course of writing and wants to leap into a story where someone else has done all the work.
    Very sorry to hear about the wrist. I get this carpal tunnel syndrome. Dreadful stuff when our bodies refuse to let us work.

    Reply
  63. Oh *blush*.
    I am so glad you like Black Hawk. It’s going to be out in audiobook soon — I don’t remember the date but it’s in a month or two.
    I can say nice things about the audiobooks because the dramatic performance is a new and distinct artwork and I can admire it for that. They’ve give me the most perfect narrator for Black Hawk. She’d Kristen Potter and she is just great.
    I can hardly wait to see what she does with the story.
    I know exactly what you mean about needed great fiction at certain points in the writing cycle. One gets so very tired of the laborious course of writing and wants to leap into a story where someone else has done all the work.
    Very sorry to hear about the wrist. I get this carpal tunnel syndrome. Dreadful stuff when our bodies refuse to let us work.

    Reply
  64. Oh *blush*.
    I am so glad you like Black Hawk. It’s going to be out in audiobook soon — I don’t remember the date but it’s in a month or two.
    I can say nice things about the audiobooks because the dramatic performance is a new and distinct artwork and I can admire it for that. They’ve give me the most perfect narrator for Black Hawk. She’d Kristen Potter and she is just great.
    I can hardly wait to see what she does with the story.
    I know exactly what you mean about needed great fiction at certain points in the writing cycle. One gets so very tired of the laborious course of writing and wants to leap into a story where someone else has done all the work.
    Very sorry to hear about the wrist. I get this carpal tunnel syndrome. Dreadful stuff when our bodies refuse to let us work.

    Reply
  65. Oh *blush*.
    I am so glad you like Black Hawk. It’s going to be out in audiobook soon — I don’t remember the date but it’s in a month or two.
    I can say nice things about the audiobooks because the dramatic performance is a new and distinct artwork and I can admire it for that. They’ve give me the most perfect narrator for Black Hawk. She’d Kristen Potter and she is just great.
    I can hardly wait to see what she does with the story.
    I know exactly what you mean about needed great fiction at certain points in the writing cycle. One gets so very tired of the laborious course of writing and wants to leap into a story where someone else has done all the work.
    Very sorry to hear about the wrist. I get this carpal tunnel syndrome. Dreadful stuff when our bodies refuse to let us work.

    Reply

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